Amid talk that a Republican-controlled Congress may not be willing to write a “blank check” for Ukraine, Kyiv’s message to the GOP is that they need to provide money to fund the Ukrainian government on top of the weapons they need to fight Russia.
Ukrainian officials say they’re not worried they will lose military aid if the GOP takes over after the midterms, but they fear the economic aid may dry up. Kyiv is expecting the US to hand over at least $18 billion to cover its budget deficit for 2023.
Daniel Vajdich, a lobbyist for the Ukrainian government, told POLITICO that Ukraine expects even “more robust” weapons packages from Republicans but is worried about the budgetary aid.
“There’s a recognition in Kyiv that they’re going to have to work with Republicans to help them understand that support for Ukraine can’t just be about guns,” Vajdich said.
Vajdich expects Congress to pass the budgetary aid needed for 2023 during the lame-duck session before the new Congress is sworn in this January. But he says that Ukraine will need such support for years to come.
According to a report from NBC News, lawmakers in both parties in Congress are planning to push through a new massive aid package for Ukraine before January that could be worth around $50 billion to cover 2023. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) recently said more US aid for Ukraine was on the way and would be included in an omnibus spending bill that will be passed this fall.